Last week we delved into a bit of theorycrafting regarding the dps and healing roles. Since tanking stats are a little different I felt it was warranted to break it up into an article of its own. The role of the tank isn’t to put out numbers, their goal is survival. Each of the three types of tanks have their own ways of surviving and so there are three different ways to focus stats.
Before we begin I would like to make something perfectly clear: Endurance isn’t your main stat as a tank. Surprised? Endurance is just a byproduct of the gear that should never be focused on. Basically, that means the endurance will come as you get gear. The three main focus stats for tank are Defense, Shield and Absorb. How much you need of each stat will depend on which class of tank you are because they all do the same role in different ways.
According to Bioware’s Austin Peckenpaugh:
“Philosophically, I want each tank to be competitive with the others but have a different feel. Overall, I’m fairly pleased with how close we are to that goal.
Vanguards and Powertechs are the sturdiest and toughest, passively, of the tanks. We want these tanks to feel like super soldiers, soaking up damage and using the latest shielding technology to survive.
Shadows and Assassins are the most evasive of the tanks, but they aren’t full-blown “evasion tanks,” at least not in the sense that they “dodge or die.” While a lot of their survivability comes from avoidance, they also use self-healing and high shield rates to stay competitive.
Guardians and Juggernauts fall somewhere in between the other tanks. They strike a balance of mitigation and avoidance, with a complement of maintained active defenses. I want Guardians and Juggernauts to feel tough, but they’re not super soldiers like Troopers and Bounty Hunters, and it just wouldn’t be right if they weren’t deflecting and parrying a lot of incoming attacks with their lightsabers.”
As quoted by Mr. Peckenpaugh (That’s a fun name to say), this class of tank is meant to rely highly on Shield and heavy armor to soak damage. This means you’ll end up putting most of your points into Shield, but that doesn’t mean you should neglect Defense and Absorption. When you successfully do shield an attack you’ll want your absorption to be high enough to soak the damage. Additionally, you don’t want to ignore your defense because increasing the chance of a boss missing you completely never hurts.
This advanced class will reply primarily on avoiding taking damage altogether. This means Defense is their focus with a secondary focus on Shield. After all, if you fail to avoid an attack from a boss you’ll want your shield rating to be decently high in order to help mitigate some of that damage. This style tank will end up taking spikey damage, but as long as the other tank stats are balanced well then the healing should be manageable. It also can’t hurt that there is a handy self-heal component in their rotation.
As noted in the quote from Bioware, this advanced class is a balance of the other two. You’ll want to mainly keep your stats balanced here with a bit more focus on Defense and Shield, similar to the Shadow/Assassin. This class seems to have lower stats than the other two tanking classes, but don’t pay too much attention to hard numbers. The Guardian/Juggernaut class has a lot of great defensive cooldowns, the most of all the tanks if I recall correctly. Combined with the best threat generation and utility powers, you’ll find a Guardian/Juggernaut in at least one of the two tanking positions in most operation groups.
I would have liked to have given hard numbers for each of the classes but there doesn’t seem to be a consensus on the absolute best stats for each of the tanks. I’m sure that, as the game matures, these numbers will start to surface, but in the meantime all I can offer is generalizations. The best thing to do is talk to other tanks of your class and see how they gear. See what works for them but, most importantly, see what works best for your style of play.
Ready check done? Pulling in 3… 2…1 …
I have a Vanguard Tank, a Shadow tank and a Juggernaut tank.
Vanguard tanking is like “Tanking for Dummies” I love the simplicity of it. Not a whole lot of cooldowns and a pretty straightforward rotation.
Shadow tanking is like an adrenalin rush. The area damage and control is second to none as far as tanks go and the avoidance and healing make these exceptional tanks. The only reason why they aren’t the defacto tank is that they have no leap.
Juggernaut/Guardian tanking is by far the worst of all three. Lowest damage output, too many cooldowns to manage and very little in mob control and terrible Rage/Focus generation. My friend who is a Guardian has moved from pure tank spec to a hybrid with the DPS tree which he actually found makes Guardians a better tank.
@Gemini1179 Thanks for your comment! I have a Vanguard and a Juggernaut. I tend to agree with you. The range tanks seem a bit easier to manage mobs, bosses etc. Personally, I would love some of my abilities turned to passives that gave me more threat than another button I had to push once or twice if the battle is long enough.
I will say my experience is just in gameplay and not with all the numbers/math behind my opinions. The funniest thing to me is when I’m swinging a lightsaber in the middle of a mob and one or two of them take off toward companion or group member. Maybe those NPCs are thinking, “Hmm I’ll take the guy shooting “healing green stuff or rocks, instead of fighting against a lightsaber”…that is my only conclusion lol 🙂
It’s interesting that you guys say that it was easier to tank with the Vanguard. When I first started tanking (before the threat upgrade patch) I found it difficult to hold threat as a Powertech unless I blew everything and then I would overheat. It wasn’t until recently that I started tanking again but I have noticed that the rotation is very easy.
However, I was under the impression that the Guardian/Juggernauts had the best threat generation around. That may be because our main tank was a Juggernaut and he was able to keep threat when I was dpsing. 🙂 I know he had a lot of cooldowns to manage but he enjoyed that sort of thing. I guess it just depends on what you enjoy doing most.
Enjoyed your aticle, Ghoztt. This is food for thought for some alts that I am leveling.